Background pattern

Science

Pedal torque as a measure of stability

25.09.2017

Bike fitters and sport scientists often encounter a case when a cyclist reports tension at the outer side of the shoe/pedal. Occasionally, a concurrent lateral knee pain is present and maybe too often treated as an Iliotibial band syndrome due to ‘excessive friction’. The newest research showed that friction has very little to do with this sort of pain and is more likely a consequence of a lateral shear force at the knee with a sort of impingement of the fat pads inside the knee.

Going back to the reported tension and a sensation of instability at the pedal interface. Assuming that the cyclist supinates the foot at the pedal and consequently pushes laterally, it becomes evident that the only place to objectively assess and re-assess this is at the pedal interface.  



We developed Forped with 6-component sensors that allow torque measurements in the direction of foot supination/pronation and foot rotation. From the values at each phase of the crank cycle one can visually and objectively see how stable the foot is at the shoe-pedal interface and also relates this to specific pathological conditions (e.g. lateral knee pain). Most importantly, the collected data provides the user with an excellent base to test interventions, such as cleat position, insoles, cleat wedges, seat positon, retraining session, etc. 

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